We found that the Bluetooth keyboard takes a few seconds to switch on when pulling the machine out of standby, with up to ten seconds of waiting possible from the keyboard switching on and connecting, but once it does, you’re free to type as often as you please and need to.
It’s also easy to charge, and like many an iPad tablet case, relies on a microUSB to USB charge mechanism, which means it can even be recharged from the USB port on the tablet. Nifty.
If you don’t want an Ultrabook experience, you can always take it out of the case and use it solely as a tablet, and that’s fine too. Or you can fold the tablet section down over the keyboard.
Missing in action is a mouse, however. While Acer displays the “Ultrabook” sticker proudly on the front, there is only one form of mouse interaction on this computer: the touchscreen.
It’s a fine touchscreen, and you can choose between keyboard and mouse, but you can’t help crave a secondary device. Even a small optical trackpad – often useless as they are – would have been something.
The battery isn’t an area where the P3 shines, either. Depending on what your usage is, you’ll find it generally pulls in around four and a half hours max, and if you decide to do a touch more than the usual web surfing and writing, this will drop to between two and three.
That’s less than stellar performance for a machine classed as an Ultrabook, and really means that you’re going to be forced to carry the power brick in case the P3 battery chooses to die on you.
Thankfully, Acer has slimmed the power supply, and is now opting for a brick that reminds us very much of the one Samsung uses with its Series 9 Ultrabooks.
It’s so close, it could be identical… except that Acer’s is white.
Physical stability is another thing. Try not to use the physical keyboard on a bus as the inertia will pull the tablet forward in its case. Thankfully, Acer’s design of keeping the tablet in a form hugging case seems to prevent it from falling to a floor-height death, but this Ultrabook branded machine isn’t public transport friendly.
On a desk or flat surface, it’s a completely different story, and is pretty much made to be used here, just don’t rely on your lap for the best experience.
With Intel’s fourth-generation chips on the way into new machines, the Acer P3 with third-gen Core processors inside kind of feels like a last ditch effort to move some of the older stock. It’s hard not to see this device as a tablet that’s being called an Ultrabook, and running last year’s tech for that matter.
It’s not a terrible machine by any stretch of the imagination, but this is just an ordinary tablet computer with mediocre performance, and honestly, there’s so much better out there, some of it even made by Acer.